University of Groningen (GRO), Department of Frisian language and Culture conducts research into the multilingual and multicultural reality of the Netherlands today. The language, politics and culture of the indigenous minority groups in Friesland are viewed as part of a broader picture, and we investigate ways of dealing with and describing the diversity presently found on the European continent.
BA and MA degree programs at the department teach students to speak and write Frisian at the same time as giving them information about the historical and cultural developments in the peripheral region of Friesland in the Netherlands. However, our programs offer a lot more: students gain a rich insight into linguistics and literary studies at the same time as discussing sociolinguistic issues in detail. Importantly, our aim is that students become trained experts in the fields of minority cultures and languages. By teaching our students about the societal and individual effects of multilingualism as well as focusing on the political ideological background for language planning and policy making, we train students who are equipped for jobs across the world.
The University of Groningen Campus Fryslân is the newest Faculty at the University of Groningen. Situated in Leeuwarden, the capital of Fryslân, the campus is oriented towards making educational and research-related impact on the region, with an explicit directive to performing multidisciplinary, transdisciplinary, and high-impact research and education activities aligned with the Frisian Knowledge Agenda. Accordingly, research activities in the graduate school of Campus Fryslân are dedicated to a number of projects relating to the Frisian language, ranging from a joint master’s program on multilingualism (with focus on Frisian/Dutch) to the doctoral thematic research group on “Culture, Language and Technology”, which is similarly oriented to applied issues of multilingualism in the region. In all cases, special attention is extended to Frisian, be it by studying the melodic contours of the language, developing innovative techniques to recognize voice pathologies in such minority languages, or describing the effects of language contact and change, research at Campus Fryslân is performed in close collaboration with other partner institutions.